The software maker has dropped Akai and rebuilt their dedicated controller themselves, and the software itself is gaining a handful of new features.
The announcements came at the tail end of Loop, Ableton's inaugural music summit in Berlin this past weekend. First off, they've rolled out a new version of Push, their dedicated Live controller. Though Push 2 doesn't look vastly different from the original, there are some key differences, including a new color display that shows waveforms, device parameters and other information about the mix. Push 2 also brings more sampling power directly onto the device, including the ability to slice up samples across pads. The pads themselves have been rebuilt, which speaks to a larger change pointed out by Create Digital Music: Ableton is now building Push themselves, not in collaboration with Akai, their previous hardware partner. The article also points out that Push 2 will be able to control third-party plug-ins, not just Live's own devices. Should you decide to trade in your old Push for a new one, Ableton will refurbish and donate the old device to education, and they'll give you a 30% discount on your purchase.
The new controller is accompanied by a 9.5 software update of Live. The free upgrade for existing users features a new version of their Simpler sampler device, new analog filters from the people who brought you the Glue bus compressor and improved meters and waveforms. For Live 9 Suite owners, a number of new synthesizers round out the update.
Another new feature was announced in tandem with the new Push and Live: Link, which will allow users to play Live sessions in time across multiple devices without wired connections. (They just have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.) Ableton says the feature will be available as part of a free update to Live users, and the functionality will also be found in a "growing number" of iOS apps. Check out the teaser for Link embedded below.
Push 2 is now available from Ableton for a suggested retail price of $799.